A village in Lebanon has requested that the Lebanese Army stops using its privately owned lands for combat training.
Earlier this week, the Lebanese Army announced that it would conduct combat training, including shooting with live ammunition, between 10 and 28 February in the villages of Aqoura, Afqa, and Laqlouq, in the Byblos District of Mount Lebanon Governorate.
In response, the Municipality of Aqoura issued on Saturday a statement in which it said that the village had “no training field belonging to the Army.”
The Municipality explained that the area of “Tamm Rutaybah” is “a communal land that is owned by all the people of the town of Aqoura and the municipality administration.”
“Therefore, considering Tamm Rutaybah as a training field constitutes an encroachment on private lands and a violation of the decisions of the Municipal Council.”
The Army had specified the said area in Aqoura as one of the locations it would use during the training sessions. It’s worth noting that the Army had carried out training activities in the area on several previous occasions.
The village’s Municipality stated that it had asked the Army several times to stop training in the area, noting that several important development projects were due for construction in it in accordance with the Municipal Council’s decisions.
In its new statement, the Municipality reiterated the plea, appealing to the President, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Defense to “work to prevent encroachments on private property.”
With that said, the municipality stressed, “our love and appreciation for the army establishment and for the effort and sacrifices made by it in preserving the security and integrity of the homeland; a matter about which there is no dispute.”